The Upper House ups the boutique hotel game
The Upper House is the Swire Hotels group's latest foray into the Hong Kong boutique hotel market and its opening announces a scary new set of standards for competitors in the game. Located above Pacific Place, next to the JW Marriott, The Upper House's 117 rooms are rigged out with ultra-contemporary furnishings and online amenities, all of it packaged with the feel-good stamp of environmental awareness. (Who can deny that using a towel twice just feels right?)
Rooms start at 730 square feet -- the open space feels large enough to accommodate a kiddie football game. Natural elements such as wood, shoji glass, limestone and lacquered paper panels add warmth to the clean, minimalistic aesthetic.
On level 49, Cafe Gray Deluxe is another example of brilliant use of space. Consultant Jimi Yui and designer Andre Fu combined forces to solve the perennial Hong Kong conundrum -- too little space, too many beautiful things to fit in -- with a donut-shaped design for the world-class kitchen, which services the entire hotel.
Those who suffer existential crises when not connected can remain calm with The Upper House's in-room technology -- complimentary wired and wireless high-speed internet, LCD TVs with surround sound and simple connectivity for PCs, camcorders and MP3s.
The Upper House is trying to go completely paperless with its online check-in service. Conventional check-in and check-out queues are made obsolete by a portable PC-wielding guest-experience team. Guests can check-in from anywhere inside the hotel. Check-out can be done by email. Room service can be called with the in-room iPod touch, which also features hotel information, local area information, weather, news and feedback forms.
Until December 31, 2009, The Upper House is offering a two-nights-for-one stay with rates starting from HK$3,388 for a 730-square-foot Island View Studio with king-size bed and panoramic views.
The Upper House
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Reservations can be made via www.upperhouse.com, by calling +852 3968 1111 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org